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Turn 2 "Staying Smart at the Bay" Program

(Pictured is the Teen Work Crew for the Teen Center Non-Alcohol Teen Party. Often presented as karaoke nights, such parties demonstrate that alcohol and drug free parties are both cool and fun.)

Since 2002, the Turn 2 Foundation has supported the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club's substance abuse prevention program called "Staying Smart at the Bay." The mission and purpose of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club is to improve and enhance the quality of life for all young people, with special emphasis on boys and girls 6-18 years old. Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club exists to help young people realize and achieve their potential for growth and development and to attain the skills necessary to live and succeed in a complex environment.

"Staying Smart at the Bay" Clubs: This year, the program continued to deliver a significant portion of the substance abuse prevention activities in four teen clubs. These clubs are Beyond the Court, Sister Soldiers, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and United Girls for Life. Beyond the Court includes 15 14-16-year-old boys. Sister Soldiers enrolls 50 13-17-year-old girls in three 14-week cycles per year. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is an ongoing, open-admission activity that enrolls 35 13-18-year-old young men per year. United Girls for Life enrolls 50 10-12-year-old girls in four 12-week cycles per year.

Substance abuse sessions for Club members included: types of illegal drugs and their effects and symptoms; alcohol and nicotine; lethal drugs; treatments for substance abuse; getting help for oneself and others; gang involvement — a doorway to drugs; police and drug-treatment programs speakers; and college visits — a taste of the future without drugs. It is of the utmost importance to Kips Bay that these programs develop and maintain an internal culture that says staying away from drugs and alcohol is "smart and cool."

Substance abuse education was also addressed in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), which required 17 hours of educational content. With speakers provided by Urban Health Plan, each SYEP participant received a three-hour session that covered legal, medical, social and employment problems associated with alcohol and drug use. From 2005 to 2006, the number of SYEP teens receiving drug and alcohol abuse education increased from 352 to 887. In 2008, SYEP was contracted for 1065 slots.

"Staying Smart at the Bay" Success Story: Jared, age 15, was a learning-disabled club member who would attend the Palmaro Clubhouse after school in much solitude. He would keep to himself and not join in activities. After a while, the staff was able to engage him, simply by not letting him hide. The staff worked hard to inspire and motivate Jared and eventually managed to enter him into a tutoring program.

Over the course of the year, Jared came out of his shell and joined Passport to Manhood. The program encourages young men to avoid drugs, maintain sexual responsibility and commit to a positive future. Jared has now begun to do better in school and has even become a public speaker! He is one of the Boys & Girls Club Summer Youth Employment Program recruiters. Jared presents the program requirements to enrolling SYEP participants in orientation sessions of 400 applicants!

Since its launch in 1996, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $23 million to create and support signature programs that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and "Turn 2" healthy lifestyles. Learn more »

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